Delta Air Lines has removed some of its older and noisier airplanes from routes serving LaGuardia Airport and will move them to other regional hubs, the airline said.
The last flight of a McDonnell Douglas MD-88 took place Thursday, drawing praise from elected officials and anti-noise activists living in the airport’s flight paths.
Delta, which expects to take delivery of more than 50 new planes this year, said it ended the use of 30 of its MD-88 planes for LaGuardia routes.
It said the move was good for the environment, would reduce noise, and would make it easier to comply with federal rules on more efficient GPS-based routes.
Airport activist Susan Carroll of Flushing said Monday that the move made good business sense for Delta, “but also, from a community standpoint, this is a very encouraging sign.”
“This plane was designed for a different time,” she said. “It is loud and [fuel] inefficient and, above all else, it has a very distinctive sound. If you hear it, you know it right away.”
Peter Rutledge, 73, an activist from Bayside, said the move was “tangible progress” in reducing noise from LaGuardia.
“They are real rattletraps — engines are mounted on the rear of the fuselage and they make distinctive noise like a buzz saw,” he said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also praised the move.
“Newer and quieter aircraft bring benefits not only to Delta and the flying public but also to the communities surrounding LaGuardia,” Schumer said in a statement.